For what was a spur-of-the-moment purchase over two years ago, Mike Tindall's racehorse Monbeg Dude is proving to have been a worthwhile bet. The former rugby star and his royal wife Zara Tindall couldn't contain their delight as the horse took third place in the Grand National at Aintree on Saturday – despite odds of 40/1.
Monbeg Dude's triumph earned his proud owner £105,000 and as he crossed the finish Mike's expression was one of joy and surprise. "I'm lost for words and emotions," he later tweeted. "All I can say is yes the dude!!!!!"
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Monbeg Dude came third despite his odds of 40/1
Zara, who sported a new long bob hairstyle and a chic navy blue coat, was right by her husband's side as the sporty duo celebrated with their friends at the Merseyside racecourse.
Speaking in January 2013, shortly after he bought Monbeg Dude, Mike admitted that he hadn't thought through what he doing and that his surprise purchase hadn't gone down too well with his wife.
Excited Zara showed off her new shorter hairstyle at the races
"I like to bid in auctions without meaning to actually win things" he explained to the Daily Mail. "I only went for a bite to eat and a night out. No horse had gone for less than £28,000 so I thought my first bid of £10,000 was pretty safe, likewise when I upped it to £12,000.
"I knew nothing about the horse," he added. "I hadn't checked the brochure and couldn't see the Dude as I was sitting with my back to the sale ring."
Mike bought Monbeg Dude at an auction
Mike also revealed Zara called him an "idiot" after he told her the news.
Yorkshire-born Mike had to enlist the help of some of his rugby pals to help him with the logistics of transporting Monbeg Dude to his new home.
Michael Scudamore, whose father is champion jockey Peter Scudamore, drove the 30-minute distance to his home in Cheltenham to bring a suitable lorry back to the show room where his friends waited.